Article taken from: www.moneysavingexpert.com
How do I check my broadband speed?
There are a number of free speed tests online to find what speed you’re actually getting such as BroadbandChoice’s Speed Tester* and Ookla’s Speedtest.net . Try at different times of the day to get a range as it can vary.
Regulator Ofcom also has a Telecoms Coverage Checker , which shows the maximum speeds capable down the line at any postcode, though it won’t be precise enough to check your home. Meanwhile, uSwitch’s StreetStats* shows actual speeds those in your area get, by provider. How do I boost my broadband speed?
There are a number of simple checks and fixes if you are struggling speed-wise. There’s a full checklist of tips and tricks to get quicker in Broadband Speed Boosting . 2. Not all deals are available nationwide… but our comparison tool finds the best deals in YOUR area
To help you navigate this postcode lottery, our Broadband Unbundled tool shows which best buys are available where you live. Standard speed broadband is available in the vast majority of the UK but there are still odd pockets where you can’t get it.
With fibre, it’s still still being rolled out across the UK, though over 90% should now be able to get it. Most big cities have access but some rural areas may not. Ultrafast fibre with top speeds of 350Mb is only available to roughly 50% of the UK, while faster speeds are currently only available to a small number. 3. How long does it take to switch broadband? Or to get it for the first time?
It varies, but plan for about 10 working days, though if you need an engineer it is partly down to your availability.
And on the day itself don’t worry if you fear Facebook withdrawal, you’re only likely to be offline for a few hours, or maybe hardly at all – if you’re at work you may not even notice it. Here are some more key details: Often, there’s no need for an engineer to come round. Only if you need a new line or on some fibre installations. Otherwise just plug any new kit you’re sent in. You don’t usually need to tell your current provider. The new firm usually does the communication work unless if switching to or from Virgin – here, you must tell your old provider. Many firms insist you pay to receive their router. Though the cost isn’t usually prohibitive and we include router costs (where applicable) in all the deals below. Quick Questions Before switching, how do I find out what customer service is like?
Since you’ll likely be signing a 12-month or 18-month contract, it’s worth checking feedback before diving in. We include the results of our latest broadband customer satisfaction poll in all our best buys, so you can see how each provider ranked with other MoneySavers. For the full results see our latest Broadband customer service poll results.
Our forum’s Broadband Board also includes a wealth of feedback, as do sites such as ThinkBroadband and ISP Review . Do I pay any exit penalties to switch broadband?
You won’t face extra costs if no longer under contract though you may need to give at least 14-30 days’ notice depending on your provider.
If you’re still within the minimum term of your contract, you usually have to pay ‘early termination fees’ to leave. Each provider calculates these differently but it generally depends on the amount of time left on your contract. They should always be less than the cost of the remaining charges on the contract.
Some providers may charge up to £30 if you’re cancelling your broadband and not moving to another firm immediately or if you’re moving to cable (although we’ve heard that some will waive this if contested). Your provider may also ask you to return its router or you risk incurring a penalty charge. What are my rights if my provider hikes prices?
Under rules from regulator Ofcom, if the contract was taken out after 23 Jan 2014, if your landline, broadband or mobile (but not TV) firm raises prices without warning you before you signed up then you are allowed to leave penalty-free.
But do check the T&C’s as providers may state in there that they reserve the right to hike prices in line with inflation, which would count as a warning. If it happens without warning all you have to do is tell your provider within 30 days of getting notification from it, and you can then leave penalty-free. That said, only do so if you can find a better price. 4. Will I get the advertised speed?
Maybe. It’s important to understand that these advertised speeds are based on the average speed received by at least 50% of a provider’s current customer base between 8pm and 10pm – when most people are online
Most have signed up to a code of practice committing to give a personalised estimate before you sign-up. If you get ‘significantly under-performing’ speeds ask your provider to check for a fault – and get it fixed if so.
If unresolved you may be able to exit your contract penalty-free. But the definition of ‘significantly under performing’ is where speed is slower than that received by 90% of the provider’s customers on similar lines, so only the firm knows. If unhappy with your provider, try free complaints handling tool Resolver . 5. Can I get broadband without a phone line?
Most broadband packages require you to have a line as the broadband is ultimately delivered down it. However, most providers still make you take out a standard line rental deal as if you’d use the phone rather than a discounted price for broadband only.
There are a limited number of broadband-only deals, mainly from Virgin Media, but these are usually expensive (though when it has a hot deal we’ll feature it below) so it’s almost always cheaper to get a broadband and landline package. Of course, you could just get the line and simply not use it. 6. Aim for unlimited data or it’ll cost you
Almost all deals come with unlimited data now, particularly the deals we feature below and on our Broadband Unbundled tool. The fact the best deals have no restriction is good news given our data use has rocketed with catch-up TV, box sets and movie streaming gobbling it up – downloading an episode of Game of Thrones in HD uses up roughly 1GB.
The other reason for cheer at the competitiveness of unlimited data deals is packages with download limits tend to have costly charges if you go over – BT charges £1.80/GB when you breach the limit.
Though most new deals offer unlimited data, some legacy packages would still charge for exceeding your allowance, plus we’ve heard of some retention deals (offered direct from a provider if you try and haggle a new deal) still with a data cap – so always check the details when signing up. Quick Questions